Lifestyle and Burnout: A Bad Marriage

Carol Peckham

Disclosures

March 27, 2013

In This Article

Burnout's Effects on Public Service and Religiosity

Volunteerism

As with pastimes and vacations, in the Medscape survey the proportion of burned-out vs not burned-out physicians matched up closely in the types of volunteer work they did. About 21% of both groups did pro-bono clinical work, 22% of their work was associated with religious organizations, and 14% volunteered in their children's schools. The largest difference between the groups was in not volunteering at all: 31% of the burned-out group and 27% of the non-burned-out group.

Religion and Spirituality

According to a 2008 Pew Report, 88% of Americans believe in God or a universal spirit.[30] In the Medscape poll, instead of asking for specific religious affiliations, we wanted to know whether physicians have a spiritual belief, regardless of active participation. There was no difference in the burnout vs non-burnout groups, but physicians tend to be less religious than the general population. When asked whether they have any religious or spiritual belief, 74% of burned-out physicians and 76% of those not burned out said that they do.

When physicians who claimed to have a religious or spiritual belief were asked whether they actively attended services, a slight difference emerged between the burned-out and non-burned-out groups, with 57% of the burned-out believers attending services vs 62% of their peer believers.

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